New kitchen - what do you love, what do you regret? recommendations please!

(44 Posts)
gillyweed Tue 22-Oct-13 08:41:03

My mum has asked me to help design their new Kitchen, she's been dreaming about a new one for years but has a chronic illness so not up to doing it herself, my dad just doesn't care...

Their both late 60's so want a design that will work well the older they get (eye height cooker etc.) and both love cooking and food; lots of gadgets, implements etc!

The room is corner of the house, about 5 x 10 m, window on both exterior walls - one corner (next to main window) has the entrance to the cellar; made to look like part of the work surface, the lid lifts up and door opens to lead down to dodgy steps (to freezer, utilities etc), this takes a massive amount of space up but we can't see around it without moving the stairs to another room ££££!!! The room needs gutting and taking back to bare walls, I suspect everything needs re-doing.

We're thinking ikea probably.

Basically I'm after any advice, what do you like/dislike about your kitchen, mistakes, recommendations, regrets, zoning, design?!? Its already the hub of the home, I just want my mum to enjoy being in there again without bits of it falling off in her hand!

minipie Tue 22-Oct-13 09:30:20

there is a thread called something like "lessons learned" which has a lot of useful kitchen tips - have a search.

Hmm, the dodgy steps sound like a bit of an accident waiting to happen once they get older. is there space to widen/redo the steps, open it all up, basically make it more of an open stairway down to the utility area?

Otherwise I'd say:

- Wide fridge if you have room for one. But not those ones with a tall narrow fridge and tall narrow freezer section - get one with fridge at the top and freezer at the bottom. I love my Fisher and Paykel double door fridge with freezer drawers.

- Don't put your sink in a corner, mine is and I hate it. Also make sure the dishwasher can still be opened when there is another person washing up.

- You could consider a slimline dishwasher, two people on their own won't need to run a normal size dw very often and it could get smelly.

- painted kitchens are good as they can look brand new with a fresh coat of paint.

Preciousbane Tue 22-Oct-13 09:58:35

Sodt close doors, tall larder unit cupboards with shelves that pull in and out.

I suggest going on to the Ikea website and using their free planning tool and playing about with it.

Get at least three quotes.

Preciousbane Tue 22-Oct-13 09:59:34

To add we have an Ikea kitchen and are very pleased with it.

ercoldesk Tue 22-Oct-13 10:05:39

A wall unit that comes down to worktop level, so that gadgets can be stored on the worktop for easy access, but are not always on display gathering dust, flour etc.

Pan drawers for just about everything. Much better use of storage space, and easier to get pots, pans, but even cleaning stuff out of than cupboards.

A larder type cupboard with storage built into the door for small jars, bottles of vinegar, spices etc.

Space at the side of the ovens, so that you have room to put down grill pans, baking trays etc without moving round the kitchen carrying them.

(I'm really missing my old kitchen, can you tell)

Hi - please be careful when designing for older people - never place a microwave or oven higher than their shoulder height - as the arm weakens considerably (with any of us ) when lifting something higher than shoulder height - so lifting a reheated dinner could spell disaster if the hot meal is then dropped down their front .... So design to suit their heights (in bare feet ) and maybe consider the majority of the base units to be large pull out drawers. Ikea do a birch kitchen called Ramsjo which is finished in a pinky white (or a brown/black) - this might be a good choice as its a classic style and it could be painted further down the line to give it an instant facelift !
If you have trouble designing it yourself - then maybe ask for help with someone professional - there are some companies who offer free design - or you can hire your own designer - but always make sure that who ever is helping you asks almost too many questions about not only the room - but the users of the kitchen too - anyone who's not asking questions or worse not listening to the answers - say thanks and step away ! It's a considerable investment and could be critical for your parents comfort and safety ! So does require lots of consideration !
:-)

bookishandblondish Tue 22-Oct-13 12:48:56

There's been a lot of work done on design for older people so might be worth googling.

Non slip flooring and good lighting. Big controls that are easy to use with stiff fingers. Reduce as much as possible needing to reach. Might also be worth seeing whether you could have a work top that can be sat at ( lower height and room for a chair) so meal prep doesn't need standing for the entire time.

gillyweed Tue 22-Oct-13 15:16:31

Thanks for all the replies!

There both pretty spritly... but I guess that will change sad. Defo thinking of reducing the amount of wall/high cupboards and just having drawers and the odd pull out larder. Does anyone use drawers for everyday glasses/cups? - I think they would be great for crockery and pans just not sure about drinking vessels.

The oven; I want at my mums arm/waist height (didn't mean eye level) so there should be no bending/lifting.

The stairs are proving a real problem - they pretty much mean the space can only be configured one way. They will certainly need widening/improving - I have a design background (but more products than space), who would we need to get in to look at other options; architect, interior designer, kitchen designer?!

InsertUsernameHere Tue 22-Oct-13 18:12:33

Have a look on houzz. Search for universal design and you'll find lots of useful stuff about making things accessible. If you are doing work make sure thresholds are level - a small lip can be a nightmare especially if sight fails. Really think about lifting - where would you put the shopping when you come in, where would you empty the dishwasher to, make sure you don't have to carry a full pan of water a long way to get to the hob/ drain. You get the idea. - good luck

if you google 'OnePlan dewlish ' you will find a freelance kitchen designer's pro page on Houzz or do a search directly on Houzz

lightningstrikes Tue 22-Oct-13 23:17:32

I have a drawer for glasses, mugs, etc. It is next to the fridge which has a water dispenser and the kettle sits above it. Coffee, tea and squash are also kept in the drawer. I have one of the pegboard systems which keep the glasses from knocking into each other and the drawer is deep so that glasses and mugs can be stacked. It is awesome and the kids can get their own drinks.

echt Wed 23-Oct-13 06:59:23

Make sure taps are push bar/paddle in case hands seize up.

Lighting is very important. All those little downlighter spot bulbs are are a fecker to change once you're older. Sooo, enough leccy outlets so other light sources can be added. If you insist on those little lights, rig up the switches so that one light can be switched on separately. More economical for the quick trips to the fridge.

gillyweed Wed 23-Oct-13 18:39:31

oh. my. god. I've just lost my life to the houzz app - it is amazing and already found lots of great ideas! thank you.

I'm glad you like your cup drawer - we're looking at getting rid of all the wall cupboards and just having drawers, I was concerned cups and glasses would be difficult to access but you'very sold it to me!

Lighting I think can make or break a room - I personally hate those spot lights (having spent 2 yrs living in a flat with them and constantly battling to get them out and in!), lots of different switches and lights would be great with lights directed over work surfaces.

Any solutions to the corner cupboard dilemma?!

UnexpectedFrightInShaggingArea Wed 23-Oct-13 18:43:55
FriedSprout Wed 23-Oct-13 18:45:13

I regret getting built in appliances. Major fap when they go wrong and fridge is tiny.
Friend has the red shiny Ikea one and loves it, as do I.

She is not tall and apparently you can unjust height of units below the normal height. It makes a lot of difference if you do a lot of baking to have a comfortable height.

nkf Wed 23-Oct-13 18:47:29

Too many units. I should have chucked.more stuff out.

Sometimes you can just ignore the corner if there's enough space without it. Put in a base void corner filler. (90degree filler basically ) make sure it's spaces the base cabinets enough so the handles don't crunch !!!

Talkinpeace Wed 23-Oct-13 20:32:40

I love mine - pic on my profile

the popup triple socket on the island is the best toy ever ever ever

and using drawers means no bending over and reaching into the back ...
carousels in the corners

fossil971 Wed 23-Oct-13 23:25:50

Not only pan drawers but you can have pullout inner shelves or wire baskets inside ordinary base units with a door. You have a bit more flexibility of fittings and the height between them that way.

Depending on your layout, it might be worth it to run units straight to a corner, leave a gap, and start a new run round the corner. If you have pullouts in the end cupboard you don't need full space to bend down, 3ft would be enough. But you then have a useful bit of worktop you can stand in front of or put the microwave on.

I also have a 450mm deep, 900mm wide double door larder cupboard fitted out with different shelves, spice racks etc, I find this very accessible and it makes use of a bit of wall where I didn't want a full depth unit. Ikea do something similar, slightly smaller. Nothing to stop you customising interiors of course.

I am looking at a similar thing for my mum - we thought we could take out the wall units on the working side of the kitchen but put 2 roller shutter units on the other side where she has an odd bit of worktop with freezer/washing machine under, which would take loads of storage.

I should get your measurements into the Ikea planner and tinker away with it until it seems to work. I also like the Blum "dynamic space" website for working out zoning even if you don't use thousands of pounds worth of Blum interior fittings!

InsertUsernameHere Thu 24-Oct-13 08:12:54

Houzz app should come with a health warning. I showed it to a colleague and it is now referred to as the third person in their marriage.

loraflora Thu 24-Oct-13 18:56:05

Unless they really need the small amount of extra space, get a full size dishwasher. Especially since they both love cooking and have plenty of gadgets. I'm in a 2 person household and I have no trouble filling it once a day.

Lol ! Houzz is great !! Have you visited the dilemma sections too !

Bigfingers Thu 24-Oct-13 20:16:04

I had an induction hob in a kitchen we put in in our last house. I really miss it. So easy to keep clean, nothing burns on it, etc.

gillyweed Thu 24-Oct-13 20:37:35

Howdens look great - bit more well made than ikea perhaps? will find a show room!

Corner cupboard - if we take all the wall units down we will need all usable space (or my folks could chuck out some tat...) so I think we will need to maximize the space. Do the twirly pull out shelf things last? Its actually in a bit of an awkward spot - could be where we need to store brewing up paraphernalia!

Seriously though, I think we probably do need to work out if everything currently in the kitchen is needed - less cupboards would be a cleaner design...

A smaller dishwasher would be more streamline and easier to fit in various layouts, but my mum wants to shove everything in and is pretty confident that she will run it once a day.

Does anyone have experience of bins in cupboards? how annoying are they? Is it hygienic (handles etc.)? we may install underfoot heating so a bin directly on this might be a bit rank!

gillyweed Thu 24-Oct-13 20:38:37

Oooo induction hob - did you have gas as well? what exactly is an induction hob?!!

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